Athlete of the Issue: Anastasia Kaiser

by Tamar McCollom

For four years, Anastasia Kaiser ‘11, the captain of the girls’ varsity tennis team, has been a steadfast leader and an unrivaled competitor. With back-to-back DFAL Individual Singles Championships under her belt, Kaiser has continually proved herself as the strongest player in DFAL.

Now into her third year as the number one singles player at Miramonte, Kaiser feels stronger than ever.

“Over the past four years, I’ve learned from tight situations how to handle myself under pressure,” said Kaiser.

After last year’s four hour long battle for the DFAL Individual Singles Championship, against Miramonte’s own number two singles player, Hanne Andersen ‘12, Kaiser is certainly no stranger to pressure.

“That was the most intense match I have ever played. We had both supported each other all season, and we both wanted to win so badly. After I won, we were both crying and hugging each other at the net,” said Kaiser.

With new competition this year in DFAL, Kaiser has used her extensive match experience to her advantage.

Left: Anastasia Kaiser ‘11 sets up for a backhand. Top left: Kaiser follows through on a serve. Above: Kaiser is the most dominant player in the DFAL. Photo: H. Andersen

Kaiser has defeated Campo’s Nicole Wedlake three times this year already. However, the emergence of Myiesha Simmons at Dublin and Rickimae Torres at Dougherty Valley has proved to be a challenge.

“Myiesha and Rickimae are both really good athletes, but I’m very proud of how I have played against them,” said Kaiser.

Also, this season, Kaiser has come up with big wins in non-league competition. After winning decisively against the number one players at both Mission San Jose and San Ramon Valley, she is quickly becoming a formidable opponent not just in DFAL, but in NCS as well.

If ever there were a poster child for student athletes, it would be Kaiser. Once a top junior player in NorCal, Kaiser was ranked 17th in 12 and unders, and placed second in the West Coast Junior Championships. However, Kaiser later sacrificed tennis for her academics.

“I stopped competing in USTA tournaments because it became impossible to keep up with schoolwork, and still excel in competition,” said Kaiser.

Now, in addition to being the captain of the tennis team, Anastasia serves as the Public Speaking President and the co-captain of the Mock Trial Team.

However, Kaiser still plans to continue playing tennis collegiately.

“Hopefully, depending on where I end up, I can play Club or Division III tennis, but my main focus is still my academics,” said Kaiser.

Kaiser’s personal goals for this season include winning the DFAL Doubles Championship with Andersen. After a successful singles career in DFAL, Kaiser looks forward to making her doubles debut.

“I’ve already won the Singles Championship twice, and been a finalist once. It’s someone else’s turn now, and Hanne and I have been planning this since she was a freshman,” said Kaiser.

This year, Kaiser also hopes to bring home the team NCS title after losing 4-3 match last year in the semifinals to the eventual champions, Mission San Jose.

Despite graduating several key doubles players last year, Kaiser remains confident that the team can take home the NCS Championship.

“I fully expect us to win NCS this year. This is the strongest team I have been a part of, and we all want it so badly after last year,” said Kaiser.

Fun Facts About Anastasia Kaiser

Height: 5’9”
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Food: Salt
Favorite Author: Chaim Potok
Favorite Poet: Ogden Nash
Favorite Magazine: The New Yorker
Favorite NPR Program: Planet Money
Favorite Nobel Laureate: Paul Krugman
Favorite Kennedy: Ted Kennedy
Favorite Athlete: Roger Federer
Favorite Racket: Babalot
Favorite Class: AP Euro
Random Fact: Russian was her first language.